Posh player ratings: New conscripts did well in the midfield battle

Erhun Oztumer delivered another fine performance for Posh against Preston. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.
Erhun Oztumer delivered another fine performance for Posh against Preston. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.
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Inexperienced midfielders Erhun Oztumer and Harry Beautyman impressed Peterborough Telegraph Posh writer Alan Swann the most in the 1-0 home defeat by Preston today (December 20).

Match report: Posh 0, Preston North End 1 - No home comforts for Fergie’s men

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Ben Alnwick: Made a decent save one-on-one with Beckford late on, but was beaten by a clever finish from the same player just before the break. His distribution has become very iffy in recent weeks, but that’s only a minor quibble for a goalkeeper 6

Michael Bostwick: He lacked the pace, or indeed the natural instincts of a right-back, when in possession. Some terrible crosses and dithered on the ball far too often when in promising positions. If he plays at all it has to be at centre-back, especially when Posh have a decent specialist right-back on the bench 5

Kgosi Ntlhe: Made some of the doziest attacking decisions of the season. He was taking shots from 25 yards with his weaker foot and smashing crosses behind the goal when a cool, precise centre was called for. To his credit he never hides, but he needs an education in forward play. Defended okay 5

Gaby Zakuani: The team’s warrior of previous seasons is still searching for anything like his best form. Never looked particularly happy against Davies or Beckford and was often forced to send high balls forward towards a very large and imposing Preston defence 5

Christian Burgess: Beaten too easily for the goal which is not an uncommon complaint in his brief time at the club. He shows enough in possession though to suggest he will become a reasonable League One centre-back at the very least 6

Jack Payne: The London Road surface is hard work unless your technique is spot on. The Posh skipper worked his socks off as usual, but played too many poorly weighted passes. The ball ran away from him quite a bit as well 6

Harry Beautyman: Tough opposition for a full home debut, but the midfielder became stronger as the game wore on. His athleticism is sure to become a useful asset as the season wears on. His passing was usually crisp and accurate. Encouraging 7

Jermaine Anderson: Football is a struggle for the teenager at the moment so asking him to play an unfamiliar role on the left of a midfield diamond was asking a lot. He actually did okay before the break, but he was getting caught in possession too often when he was taken off in the second-half 5

Erhun Oztumer: Here’s a player who clearly loves being in possession of a football. In fact a minor criticism after another fine showing was a tendency to hang on to the ball for a fraction of a second too long. He’s always looking for a defence-splitting pass, but he needs better movement from others to achieve it. Great 50-yard sprint back towards his own goal to deny Preston a second goal in the dying seconds 7

Craig Mackail-Smith: It was easy to feel sorry for the club legend as he was fed a succession of high, straight balls for the majority of this match. When he was given the chance to attack down the channels he caused problems, winnning a couple of free-kicks in dangerous positions and delivering a great cross that almost led to a quality goal from Mclean 6

Aaron Mclean: Denied by the goalkeeper after pouncing on a weak back-pass and almost claimed a cracking goal from Mackail-Smith’s goal. His attitude remains top class even though he now feeds on scraps compared to his golden first spell at the club 6

Substitutes:

Nathaniel Mendez-Laing: (for Anderson, 71 mins) Livened Posh up, did well 6

Luke James: (for Zakuani, 87 mins)

Joe Day: (not used)

Conor Washington: (not used)

Kyle Vassell: (not used)

Ricardo Santos: (not used)

Michael Smith: (not used)

Have your Posh say: by emailing alan.swann@peterboroughtoday.co.uk, or on Twitter @PTAlanSwann or tweet using #PUFC

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